Today, I found out who Megan Fox is. I am disappointed. Humans are a disappointing species in general. Thanks to Maximizing Progress for providing me with the photo of the Uno to emphasize my previous point.
My friend Matt said this once: “Our generation is the generation that’s been characterized by having no movements. The generation of repetition.”
He was talking about art and culture – everything from music to fashion – that has been taken from past generations and regurgitated by kids our age to produce something that’s only a variation of what’s been done before.
I remember this: A visit to the old frat house that had been converted into graduate student studios on the West side of the Iowa River. Going from room to room, I couldn’t find any theme that connected the artists to each other. They all had a unique style that betrayed no one popular technique. One artist layered her paint so that her pictures came out to look like large photographs, with no visible brush strokes. Another artist created abstract pieces on wood that were blocky and pixilated – inspired by the games he loved to play on his SuperNintendo (to which he remained glued while I talked with him about his work).
Some might argue that this noncommittal to a specific style is called postmodernism; however, postmodernist philosophy is that artists should not follow movements and should create individual art that is inspired by existing art as well as the artist’s experiences, environment, etc. Thus, to call postmodernism a movement is somewhat of an oxymoron. A small minority of artists have started using the term “neopostmodernism.” Our generation is so uncreative, we can’t even come up with original names for our non-movements.
Revivals are common in the world of fashion, as well. Walking into Hot Topic at the mall, shoppers can see merchandise that’s been ripped off form previous fashion trends. There are jackets that look like reproductions of what my brother wore in 1983, and arm cuffs like British punk rockers were wearing circa 1977. People who grew up in recent decades like to emulate lifestyles that were prevalent years before they were born.
Anyway, clothing designers are notorious for recycling ideas, but sometimes trends come full circle without any help from professionals. A few years ago, fans of Avril Lavigne, alias Pop-punk Barbie, wore neck ties with their tank tops to emulate the singer. Lavigne was credited with starting a trend, however there was nothing unique about her style. The only reason she got away with it was because all of her fans were twelve-year-olds who had never heard of Patti Smith.
I’m pretty sure future generations are going to look back on what we contributed to music and scoff.
Let’s not talk about music anymore. It’s too depressing.
Best thing to happen to the arts since the film camera: the Internet.
I spend lots of time loving the Internet and everything about it.
Revealing: “You are so proud of your cache of useless trivia.” – Jayne said this to me three years ago, though it’s still relevant today.